A bit of midweek motivation..

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all having a good week? I’ve had a lot of work on in the last few weeks, which has meant working some very long days so I have to admit that I am feeling a little bit drained at the moment. I am not sure about you, but I can definitely use some midweek motivation to get me through this week!

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“Dream big, work hard, stay focussed and surround yourself with good people” Four pretty important things to live by! Such a great reminder to ensure we keep dreaming and surrounding ourselves with good people at times when we might feel a little out of balance. Happy Hump Day! :)

Leave a comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Quotes

The Oak London, Notting Hill

The Oak London is one of those restaurants I have been to so many times, but shockingly have never featured it on the blog. Located in fabulous Notting Hill on Westbourne Park Road, it actually used to be within walking distance from my house making it my local favourite for a cosy dinner.  The Oak London is known for their delicious wood fired pizzas but everything else on their Mediterranean inspired style menu is also very tasty!

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The Oak London is always feels super cosy because of the dim lighting and candles galore. It is the perfect place for a dinner with friends or that special romantic date you might have coming up! I had birthday drinks down the road, at the Westbourne Pub, recently so me and two girlfriends decided to catch up and line up our tummies beforehand at The Oak in London. We started of with some wine, it was Friday night after all, plus the Nocellara del Belice olives and the sautéed chorizo with fennel seeds and lemon. These large green olives are my favourite, they are so soft soft & almost buttery in flavour.

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For mains, we ummed and ahhed for a while over the menu but in the end decided on their good-old-fave pizzas! Their pizzas at the Oak are always excellent. A real wood fired oven (that you can see from restaurant) produces the perfect base; crispy  on the outside and soft in the middle and they offer some yummy toppings. I had the Prosciutto (tomato, mozzarella, parma ham, wild rocket with parmesan) and my friends had the Campagnola (mozzarella, porcini, caramelised onion, wild rocket, goat cheese with truffle oil) and the Salsiccia (tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella, Tuscan sausage, girolles mushrooms, with Gruyère).

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When it comes to dessert I always seem to have the Affogato at The Oak! Delicious hot coffee poured over vanilla ice-cream, plus if you’re up for it you can also add a some sneaky alcohol in the form of Amaretto, Grappa Di Moscato or Brandy! Nom nom…

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The Oak London in Notting Hill is definitely a winner. To-die-for pizzas, great food, friendly service and a cosy and romantic setting are the perfect formula for a lovely evening. And they have a great bar on the 1st floor which is perfect for pre-drinks (while you wait for a table on busy nights) or head there after dinner for some post-dinner cocktails!

The Oak London
137 Westbourne Park Road
Notting Hill
London, W2 5QL
(020) 7221 3355

Leave a comment | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Guilt Free Popcorn

Sometimes nothing beats a cosy night in on the couch, watching a movie and tucking into a big bag of greasy microwave popcorn! However, unfortunately delicious buttery microwave popcorn isn’t all that great for our waistlines.

So what if I told you that I’ve discovered a super easy way to make popcorn at home. No stovetops, no pots and pans or no fancy popcorn popping machine required…nope, all you need is a microwave and a paper bag. Oh and did I mention it is healthy? Yes people, this is the ultimate guilt free popcorn recipe right here!

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It is actually ridiculously easy and all you need to do first is buy a pack of simple flat-bottomed brown paper lunch bags. I just got mine from eBay here.

Guilt Free Microwave Popcorn

Step 1: Depending on how much popcorn you need, measure ½ or ¼ cup* of popcorn kernels and pour them into a medium sized flat-bottomed brown paper bag.
Step 2: Fold the top of the bag over twice to seal it, as seen in the picture below.
Step 3: Stick bag in the microwave and cook for about 3 minutes on high, or until you hear pauses of about 2 seconds between pops. Listen carefully because depending on the power of your microwave; the popcorn may be done in as little as 2 minutes and no one wants burned popcorn.
Step 4: Carefully open the bag (avoiding steam) and pop into a serving bowl plus add salt or other seasonings to taste.  Now go and enjoy your guilt free popcorn!

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*Did you know that 100 gram of un-popped popcorn contains 375 calories and that 100 grams of normal popped microwave popcorn contains about 400-500 calories per 100 grams. The real difference is however that 100 grams of un-popped kernels is about 1/2 of a cup which will make a LOT of popped popcorn. I think about 25 grams per person is the perfect amount and that’s only 100 calories when using the healthy microwave popcorn recipe! Winning :)

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Need some ideas for flavouring your popcorn?
Then try these toppings for some gourmet popcorn fun:

  • Spicy citrus: add chilli powder, orange zest, lime zest, salt and some dark-brown sugar
  • Classic: a shake of salt with a pat of butter (or olive oil)
  • Garlic: shake in onion powder and garlic powder and some salt
  • Cheesy: mix in Parmesan cheese with a little salt
  • Sweet tooth: a dash of cinnamon, a sprinkle of sugar (plus optional drizzle of honey)
  • Herbs: mix dried rosemary or thyme, with salt and garlic powder

Tip: Spraying the popped popcorn with a little olive oil or coconut oil spray will help the salt or other seasonings stick to the kernels.

Are you popping with excitement yet to try recipe this at home?

Leave a comment | Posted in 80/20 Diet, Food, Healthy, Lifestyle, Recipe

Bundle Up – Winter Fashion Inspiration

Winter has arrived in London and it’s quickly getting colder and colder again! One great thing about winter to me is winter fashion. I just love big knits, scarves and snuggly-warm clothes. Here is some of my favourite winter fashion inspiration to bundle up this season!

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I am loving oversized jumpers, combining leather and wool, mixing prints (for example tartan and stripes), layering and knee high boots! For even more fashion inspiration, you can follow me on Pinterest HERE.

Are you loving any particular trends this winter?

Leave a comment | Posted in Fashion, Inspiration, Pinterest

Momentary Happiness…

Hello everyone, it’s that time of the week again for some mid-week wisdom! Today I am sharing the love for instagrammer ‘Charlotte Freeman’ – or better known as @momentaryhappiness because I just adore her instagram feed. It is always filled with beautiful quotes and images of sun, sand and happy moments.

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“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Repent just means to change direction—and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.”  – Anne Lamott

Such a beautiful quote, right? I agree that we are too hard on ourselves most of the time!

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Make sure you follow @momentaryhappiness on instagram to get your daily fix of great quotes, beach & sunshine. They always make me smile, and secretly wish I was on a tropical island somewhere. Happy Hump Day! I hope you have a wonderful day :)

Leave a comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Instagram, Quotes